Merriam-Webster.com defines culture as “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization”.
I define culture as the secret sauce that makes your company unique and differentiates it from the competition. It is the secret sauce of your business that causes customers to patronize your firm over the competition.
I have high expectations for the level of customer service client’s receive from CPA for Small Business, LLC. Part of the culture of my public accounting firm is that I take the time to get to know my clients and their businesses. I have a small town banking approach to public accounting and I believe that it enables me to better serve my clients. I also expect anyone associated with CPA for Small Business to have the same customer service approach to client relationships.
The culture of an organization starts at the top. In my twelve year career as a CFO, I worked in a variety of corporate cultures. One of the constants I observed was that the culture of the business was molded after the owners and top managers of the firm. If they were cut-throat, the employees generally followed suit and a cut-throat attitude was exhibited towards the firm’s customers. Conversely, if the owners or top managers treated their employees with integrity, I witnessed that employees treated each other with integrity as well as the company’s customers. Though these are two extremes, I use them to demonstrate how important culture is to your business.
This is why it is so important that you be sensitive to the culture of your business as it grows. If you, or the employees you hire as you grow, are allowed to negatively impact your businesses culture, you will lose the customer who helped your firm get off the ground.If your entrepreneurial /small business is going to survive in today’s competitive market, you have to do what is necessary to protect your firm's secret sauce, its culture.